12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

If you fell for Telekinesis’ infectious debut, prepare to swoon again. Sticking to what he does best, songwriter and one-man-band Michael Benjamin Lerner, along with producer Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie), delivers a dozen energetic pop gems in just over 30 minutes. Though there’s not a bad song here, “Please Ask for Help,” “Dirty Thing,” “Car Crash,” and “Gotta Get It Right Now” best represent the album — rapid drumbeats, sunny harmonies, fuzzy bass, and loads of ringing power chords delivered with unquenchable urgency. This album is noisier and grittier than his debut but still focused on brief bursts of fun, dance-around-the-room power pop. The direct, heartfelt lyrics mainly deal with dysfunctional romance yet the catchy hooks and upbeat choruses come across as cathartic release rather than a mope-fest. 12 Desperate Straight Lines is a straightforward, no-frills winner.

EDITORS’ NOTES

If you fell for Telekinesis’ infectious debut, prepare to swoon again. Sticking to what he does best, songwriter and one-man-band Michael Benjamin Lerner, along with producer Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie), delivers a dozen energetic pop gems in just over 30 minutes. Though there’s not a bad song here, “Please Ask for Help,” “Dirty Thing,” “Car Crash,” and “Gotta Get It Right Now” best represent the album — rapid drumbeats, sunny harmonies, fuzzy bass, and loads of ringing power chords delivered with unquenchable urgency. This album is noisier and grittier than his debut but still focused on brief bursts of fun, dance-around-the-room power pop. The direct, heartfelt lyrics mainly deal with dysfunctional romance yet the catchy hooks and upbeat choruses come across as cathartic release rather than a mope-fest. 12 Desperate Straight Lines is a straightforward, no-frills winner.

TITLE TIME
3:22
2:43
3:30
2:01
2:22
2:40
1:28
2:49
2:51
2:34
2:32
3:39

About Telekinesis

Telekinesis is the songwriting vehicle of Michael Benjamin Lerner, whose music splits the difference between summery indie rock and buoyant power pop. Based in Seattle, Washington, Lerner handled most of the instrumental duties on his band's debut, Telekinesis!, which was produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla and released in spring 2009. Telekinesis then launched a tour in support of the record, with auxiliary members Chris Staples, David Broecker, and Jonie Broecker filling out the lineup. On the 2010 EP Parallel Seismic Conspiracies, Lerner took over production duties but for his next full LP, 12 Desperate Straight Lines, he was back to working with Walla. For the tour that accompanied the release, Lerner formed a new band with Jason Narducy on bass and Cody Votolato on guitar. Lerner's third outing under the Telekinesis moniker, 2013's Dormarion, found the one-man band enlisting the help of Spoon drummer/producer Jim Eno. Lerner spent the next two years immersing himself in the world of vintage synths and keyboards in anticipation of the band's retro synth pop-heavy fourth studio album, Ad Infinitum, which dropped in September 2015. ~ Andrew Leahey

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